OAKDALE — Weston Ranch’s baseball team ended its frustrating skid on Wednesday.
The Cougars also finally broke through against Oakdale, the defending Valley Oak League champion that boasted a 30-0 all-time record against them.
Javier Jauregui won his first start of the season on the pitcher’s mound, Austin Cappas crushed a solo homer in the seventh and reliever Carlos Souza got the final out with the bases loaded as they held on for their first ever against the Mustangs, 6-3.
The Cougars (1-6 VOL, 9-10 overall) dropped their previous six league contests and seven of the last eight overall.
“Two years ago we had a 15-inning game at Oakdale but couldn’t get it done,” Weston Ranch coach David Hager said. “We always seem to play well at Oakdale, for some reason. It’s a great venue and we know they’re going to bring it every day. It’s very fulfilling to finally beat them, but by no means have we reached our goals.”
Jauregui toiled through 4 2/3 innings. He did not get any strikeouts but only walked one. He and Souza had to work through trouble throughout the contest. Souza pitched the final 2 1/3 innings for the long save.
“We were living dangerously all day,” Hager said. “Last couple games, Javier came in in relief and threw well — this was a start he earned.
“He’s not going to pump 95 (miles-per-hour fastballs), but he’s hard to read because of his release and mechanics. He threw strikes, was challenged and competed, and we played great defense behind him.”
Oakdale (4-3, 10-6) had chances to put up crooked numbers. In the sixth, the Mustangs were thwarted by some defensive wizardry from catcher Carlos Drain. Two base runners were on with no out when Drain made a diving catch on a botched bunt attempt, then slung it to second for a force out and momentum-killing double play.
Souza got out of the bases-loaded jam in the seventh by inducing a groundout to the shortstop.
Weston Ranch built a 5-0 lead in the first two innings. Amier Bowen drilled a two-run single in the opening frame, and Isaiah Maxie scorched a two-RBI hit of his own in the second. Drain capped the early barrage with a hit that plated Maxie.
Oakdale got one back in the bottom of the third and scored two more in the fifth when Austin Meeks blasted a two-run double with two outs. He drove in all three of the Mustangs’ runs.
The series shifts to Weston Ranch today.
Kimball 4, East Union 1
The Lancers (1-4 VOL, 9-9 overall) struggled with errors and could not get the big hit to overcome visiting Kimball (4-3, 12-5) at Agostini Field.
Kimball capitalized on two errors to plate three runs in the fifth and stretch its lead to 4-0. East Union walked four times in the bottom half for its lone run but could not take advantage from there. The Lancers also had two runners on with no out in the seventh.
Fernando Segura was the hard-luck loser for EU, giving up four runs (one earned) on four hits over five innings. He also had five strikeouts. Jon Sarmiento fanned 13 over six innings in a combined three-hitter for Kimball.
Lathrop 10, Johansen 4
LATHROP — Tied at 4-4, the Spartans (3-7, 3-11 overall) broke it open with a six-run fourth inning and held on for the Western Athletic Conference series sweep.
Daniel Navarro shined for Lathrop, finishing with four strikeouts while giving up four runs (two earned) on eight hits and three runs in 6 2/3 innings pitched. He was also 3 for 4 at the plate with two triples and two RBIs.
Branden Sanders also had a productive day, going 3 for 3 with two runs scored. Elijah Bermudez contributed two hits, including a triple, while freshmen Eddie Reynoso and Noah Martinez drove in two runs apiece.
Manteca 3, Ripon 0
RIPON — The Buffaloes (9-6) staved off Ripon 25-21, 25-16, 25-22 for a non-league sweep.
Rovick Hombrebueno tallied 19 assists, Oscar Anaya slugged nine kills and Adrian Gonzales collected 12 digs.
Manteca 3, Kimball 2
On Monday, the Buffaloes came back for a thrilling 21-25, 25-18, 24-26, 25-21, 15-13 Valley Oak League win. They improved to 3-3 in VOL play.
Zach Huffstutler led the front row with seven kills and three blocks. Hombrebueno handed out 28 assists, and Gonzales finished with 20 digs.
Sierra 7, East Union 2
Sierra (6-6 VOL, 8-6 overall) capped its regular-season schedule on Wednesday.
Jason Machado came back to defeat Tarunjit Singh 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3 singles. East Union’s two wins were decided in third sets, as No. 4 Kelton D’Souza knocked off Quentin Banks 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 and No. 5 Daniel Ngo defeated Jassan Gill, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.
Sweeping their singles matches for Sierra were No. 1 Kyle Banks (6-2, 6-2), No. 2 Fabian Barba (6-2, 6-1) and No. 6 David Martin (6-0, 6-2). Doubles victories went to George Montross/Milton Yamomo (6-4, 6-4), Ben Perez/Justin Lacdao (6-3, 6-0) and Aaron Crawford/Nick Alonzo (6-4, 6-1).
Lathrop 481, Mountain House 530
PATTERSON — Lathrop (2-4 WAC) put together its best round of the season at Diablo Grande.
Luke Marcello was low medalist in the 18-hole dual match, turning in an 8-over 80. Sebastian Iniguez followed with a solid 89 for second place. Frankie Guzman (98), Salvador Reyes (100) and John Wall Jr. (114) accounted for the rest.
East Union 3, Kimball 2
Mateo Guevara had the hot bat from start to finish for East Union (3-2 VOL, 11-5 overall), ending the VOL showdown with a walk-off homer in the 10th inning. He ended up 4 for 4 with a double and two RBIs.
Willie Segura was 4 for 5 with a triple and a run. Austin Orr was the winning pitcher after throwing the final 4 1/3 innings in relief. Segura was the starter, striking out nine in 5 2/3 innings.